When I say I’m a single parent, I mean I’m a single parent, like my 3 yr old says “I never got a daddy” and I feel guilty as hell. 
There aren’t any weekends off, in fact there’s not even a day off or even a second off. There’s not someone who can run to the shop to get milk and bread after she’s gone to bed or a sounding board with which to discuss discipline issues when she’s trying to take control. There’s no one to sit and have dinner with her when I’m just too busy. 
I try my hardest to be both mum and dad, but I struggle to know what that even means, taking her for days out, putting her on my shoulders or giving her a piggy back just like ‘he’ would. Theres no threat of someone walking in the door to give her a good telling off when she’s stepped out of line, no one there to just stick the kettle on when I’m at my wits end. It’s all down to me. 
And what if I’m too much of a soft touch because I’m trying to make up for it? Will I be bringing up a brat? Will she be spoiled because I tried to do too much for her? 
My life is pretty busy and I think it’s good to do stuff for myself, but when a babysitter costs £30 before you’ve even stepped out of the door, it’s hard. Even having a shower (a bath would be an amazing luxury, I’ve had 1 in 3 years!) in peace would be fantastic, but 3 seconds in and I hear the familiar call of “Muuuummmmmyyyyy!” from downstairs. 
She’s always had to go to other people and be happy in their company, how else would I do it?
I feel like I’m trying to make up for something I think she’s missing out on. 
Don’t get me wrong, there are some rubbish fathers who don’t do a great deal, but at least they can share a bit of the responsibility. At least there is somebody else suggesting a different way, rather than me questioning whether I’m doing the right thing all the time. But it would be quite nice to leave something important like her changing bag at home, and have someone else shoulder the blame. Haha
I know that some mums wish their other half wasn’t involved, that they just make things difficult, but we’re all fighting our own battles huh? 
I know I shouldn’t let her snuggle up in my bed with me at 2am but there’s no one else taking the space. 
When she wants me to do painting with her but I’m in the middle of washing up, I’m sick of hearing myself say “2 minutes, let me just…” 
I’ve never had a lie in on a Sunday morning, nobody’s there to take her down and get her breakfast while I just watch crap Tv through one eye. And hangovers, well, it’s just like everything else, I’m just about getting through it. 

7 replies
  1. Marcella
    Marcella says:

    I felt like I had written this, although my daughter sees her Dad for around 4 hrs a week if he hasn’t got anything else more important. We try to do our best by our children but bloody hell it’s tough. I feel your pain. I feel the guilt of her dad not living with us, of no siblings to grow up with under our roof, of bringing up a spoilt brat for trying to make up for those things (trust me at 6 yrs old she can tantrum like a spoilt brat). I feel terrible when I fly off the handle (often ). We try our best and that’s all we can do x

  2. Emma
    Emma says:

    Zoe I listen to you on the radio in the morning and have followed you. I found myself in a similar predicament to yourself round about the same time as yours. It’s hard but you just battle on. You have done an amazing job and should be so proud of yourself. You are a role model to all of us single mothers out there and there are plenty. You should be so proud xx

  3. sandra
    sandra says:

    yes, having brought up not one, two, but three on my own I cant agree more! The struggles to even out the attention, to attend three different schools, did I mention the job, the attempt to study and falling asleep during the seminars? Or volunteering to help the school on a day off, going to the pictures and find yourself being nudged in the ribs “wake up mum, youre snoring”! quick look around, phew think I got away with that, some pig snorting on screen saved the day! I once turned up at school and realised I had odd shoes on… after being at work all day, thsts what happens being up at the crack of dawn and saving on electric! Agood way of keeping kids entertained was my passion for competitions, I won free tickets to about six different venues, summer sorted! Along with the lawn mower… talking of which you do your own DIY, or at least I did, still do, painting, decorating, plumbing, electrical, roofing, guttering, tiling, laminate flooring, wallpapering, plastering, now how else were we to survive? Plus spending endless hours trying to fathom out how to claim some sort of benefit, appears some know more about our systems before they enter the country than I did living in it! You have to take your hat off to the country that lets men, and some women get away with supporting their own families, whom used to be sent to jail years ago, but now are able to live a free life away from their responsibilities and then the government take more off of us working single parents, why dont they tax those that leave their families more? dont get me wrong, I feel lucky mine was not looking after, so I had them 24/7 , why else would they be successful now? Trying to bring up kids single handed is daunting, tiring, mentally exhausting, but you reap the rewards later in life ( if u survive!) , to those with disabled children, I salute you…


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